"I like to think of my work as statements of spirit taking form in ways that invite the viewer to join in the magnificent creative celebration that is life." ~ Carol
The Fine Art of Ceramic and Mixed Media Expression
Art as a craft has only a surface interest for me, but art as a spiritual process and force is of paramount importance to me. For years I have explored WHAT, WHY, and HOW man creates, with increasing intrigue and challenge concerning the relationships between man as creator, and man and his Creator.
My evolution as an artist has been moving from exploring and expressing my journey through painting and other 2-dimensional techniques, to 3-dimensionality through the earth, the air, the water, the fire. The potter’s wheel is my physical and metaphysical companion -- all that the very act of “centering” demands and rewards, added to the lessons learned about such things as timing, pressure, balance, cycles, and surprise. My recently added interest, experience and training in architectural ceramics carries these clay-process dynamics into an exciting new realm of possibilities, with architectural space an “open canvas” for the unique interactive evolution of idea and compositional adornment.
I am blessed with the good fortune of enjoying a very eclectic nature and a seldom exhausted energy for catering to my what-if inquisitiveness and the pursuit of my passions. The meaningful thoughts and activities of daily living combined with a huge curiosity about techniques and the components of creativity find their way to visible form through my heart and hands in the studio.
Inspirations come from nature, music, social interrelationships, dreams, and experiences in the spiritual realm. Thoughts that come as metaphysical revelations or truths often prompt my studio production of functional pottery, non-utilitarian ceramic art, and architectural ceramics, and become a driving force as the idea and means of expression unfold.
I like to think of my work as not only deepening and enhancing my own mindfulness of my Maker, but also as statements of spirit taking form in ways that invite the viewer to join in the magnificent creative celebration that is life.
Carol Osborne Ackles BFA/BEA, MA
ONLINE GALLERY ~ Click Image to Expand View
Carol Osborne Ackles, Ceramic and Mixed-Media Artist
Ceramic Functional Ware, Non-Functional Ceramic Art, Architectural Ceramics
Currently living in Marietta, New York, with studios for production and classes.
Born in Syracuse, New York. Grew up in Skaneateles, New York. Attended school and later taught art at Skaneateles Central School.
Graduated from Syracuse University with dual degree: BFA/BEA, the visual arts of the BFA being complemented with the BEA, a degree in education with minors in music, philosophy, and theology.
Post-grad work at numerous colleges and universities. MA in ceramics and multidisciplinary studies from the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas.
Following multi-dimensional paths for many years (and many moves with my childhood best friend and engineer husband along with our five wonderful and creative children), developed into lifelong study as a fine artist and educator whose verbal and visual works are now in private collections, publications, homes, and worship centers across the country.
Some of these accomplishments include:
Commissioned Architectural Ceramics Installations: Texas and New York
Numerous local, state, national juried art shows and galleries such as: Artists That Teach, Hill Country Foundation, San Antonio Art Education UTSA, Santa Fe Heart and Hands, Blossom House, Parchman Stremmel, UTSA Health Science Center, South West Craft Center, San Antonio Contemporary Art Month annual juried festival featured artist, San Antonio Art Institute.
National Art Education Association, national conventions presenter: New York, San Francisco, Atlanta.
Teachers Across Texas, state adopted text, “Studio Activities” art teacher contributor.
Authored “Ceramics in the High School Curriculum”.
Ex-Students’ Association and the College of Education, UT Austin: Texas State Excellence Award for Outstanding High School Teachers.
Throughout my life I have created liturgical works as part of ecumenical service and visual prayer. I share two here:
"The Cross of Purpose" - mixed media sculpture
My purpose: "To find joy and service opportunity in all circumstances and activities of the life I was created to express"
The story of the Cross of Purpose for St. James' Church in Skaneateles is a wonderful one. I made the 6 clay-sculptured tiles in the fall of 2003 at the same time I was creating a Cross of Purpose for the "Purpose Driven Life" campaign at a large Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas. I kept wondering at that time, "WHY" I was concurrently making a second set of "purpose" sculptures thematically the same, yet very different in terms of both methods and media, keeping the stoneware clay predominately natural with just touches of blues.
With wonderment I completed the tiles and set them aside in my Texas studio. Returning home to Skaneateles the next summer, I shared my enthusiasm for the purpose-driven life principles only to find that St. James' was already scheduling a 6-week study for the fall, 2004.
Through collaboration with my dear friend Gwen Birchenough, who commissioned the making of the cross as her parting gift to St. James' church, and through my son, Brian Osborne Ackles, as the craftsman of our evolving ideas, God's thoughts became our work, and the St. James' cross of sculptured stoneware, lake shale, and local rough wood, was born.
I'm amazed at my my own sense of amazement regarding the story of how this cross evolved into it's final form as over and over in my life God continually surprises and delights me with plans and outcomes that are so obviously way beyond my ideas -- directions just waiting for the opportunity to find expression through me in the situations, thoughts and activities of my life.
It is with hesitation that I write a description (by requests) of my thoughts and the imagery that went into the making of this cross. There is so much that was given to me along the way, much of it difficult to express in the limitation of words. It is my fervent desire that this Cross of Purpose will take on a life of it's own, relative to the path of each individual viewing it; that it will serve as a tool of witness; and that Spirit will continue to take form in the hearts and lives of all who see it.
I am so deeply thankful to God for His gift to me of this project, the creation of which has deepened my faith, sharpened my discipleship, and revealed so much of His personality and expectations for me.
"For you oh Lord, have made me glad by the work of your hand; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy". (Ps 92:4)
Cross of Purpose - mixed media sculpture by Carol Osborne Ackles
Commissioned for St James' Church, Skaneateles New York. 2004
PASSION JOURNEY of Holy Week
A Prayerful Meditation of the Stations in Ceramic Tile
Carol Osborne Ackles
Offered as Silent Personal Reflection & Prayer
First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles, New York
CERAMIC ARTS & REQUESTS
Ceramic Art Production Pottery / Interior Décor
Utilitarian Ware and One-of-a-kind Ceramic Design
Being a teaching artist no doubt explains my drive to explore, discover (and often re-discover with a new twist) the potentiality, and limitation, of media, methods, and ideas, and also surely account for my “what-if” enthusiasm in the “cross-pollination” of unrelated, but compatible, visual arts techniques such as woven clay, photo silk-screened surface design, and mixed media combinations. The unique character of each individual technique or material seems greatly amplified in synergy.
Much of the surface character of my work is achieved
thru a variety of resist methods for layered design,
combined print-making techniques for image repetition,
underglazes and over glazes before and after glazing,
and often multiple firings for compositional refinement.
I work until the piece tells me it is complete.